SSM recommends approval of SKB’s application for permission to extend SFR facility

SKB (the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company) may be granted a licence under the Environmental Code to extend the repository for short-lived radioactive waste, SFR. This is the implication of the consultation response submitted by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM, on 17 January 2019 in its capacity as a referral body to the land and environment court responsible for evaluating SKB’s licence application.

SKB has applied for authorisation under the Environmental Code to extend the SFR repository for short-lived radioactive waste. SFR is located in Östhammar Municipality, at a site near the Forsmark nuclear power plant on the east coast of Sweden. As a referral body, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has examined SKB’s licence application under the Code (1998:808). On 17 January, the Authority submitted its formal findings to the Land and Environment Court of Nacka District Court.

“The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority considers that SKB may be granted authorisation under the Environmental Code for the proposed expanded operations at SFR. On the basis of what the Authority requires in terms of supporting documentation to be able to take a position on the licence application with regard to protection of human health and the environment against harmful effects of ionising radiation, it is our opinion that the environmental impact assessment, the EIA, can be approved, and that SKB has observed the general rules of consideration defined in the Code,” says Ansi Gerhardsson. Ms Gerhardsson heads Disposal of Radioactive Waste, a section of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority assesses that SKB’s choice of method and site has taken into account the requirements of the Environmental Code, and that SKB has demonstrated that long-term nuclear safety and radiation protection are achievable by means of the reference design presented by SKB in its licence application. SKB has also demonstrated that the construction and operation of the extension can be carried out in a way that is radiologically safe. Furthermore, the Authority judges that, in terms of radiation safety, SKB has demonstrated that the company has the necessary competence and capability to undertake the planned activities in compliance with the Code’s provisions.

For more information, please contact: Ansi Gerhardsson, Head of Section, Disposal of Radioactive Waste, via the Authority’s duty press officer on Tel. +46 8 799 40 20.